Wolf Pack Watch: Morgan Barron, Ty Ronning, carry offense; Pack hot Power Play getting it done

By Ricky Milliner
XL Center (XL Center)

Hartford has six games remaining on the docket in the 2020-21 campaign. The 24 game season is nearly complete as the prospects and veterans continue tp progress in development. Players such as Ty Ronning are fighting for a new contract while other young prospects are adjusting to the professional ranks. Hartford’s seven game winning streak was snapped last Saturday against Bridgeport. The Wolf Pack dropped a 4-0 decision against the Sound Tigers. This was the first game of the season where the Pack were shutout.

With six games remaining in about a three week span, Hartford looks to finish on a strong note before heading into another off-season. The club has three games home and away. To further break it down, Hartford faces Providence and Bridgeport each three additional times.

Pack Power Play Hottest in the League

While Hartford was on the lengthy seven game winning streak, the power play was one of the main factors for the club’s success. The Pack’s power play rose from mid to the tops in the league. Currently, Hartford is ranked first in the AHL on the power play, operating at 29.9% in 18 games. Keep in mind that the stats this season in the league will have huge variables considering the amount of games played by each club. Regardless the number of games, the Pack were cooking on a game by game basis scoring with the man advantage.

Rangers prized prospect Morgan Barron has five power play goals. Tim Gettinger has five as well. Ty Ronning has two thus far. The club found a spark on the power play and are able to move the puck around. They get chances, and find opportunities to cash in. The goals vary from crashing the crease, a rebound, or the simple wrist or slap shot. Hartford has shown it all on the power play. On the blue line, Darren Raddysh and Tarmo Reunanen are contributing as well with assists.

This is one of the bright spots this season for the club. I don’t see them slowing down anytime soon.

Morgan Barron proves he’s ready for call up

new york rangers prospects
Morgan Barron (NYR)

The 22 year old forward proves that is he ready for the next step in the organization. Despite struggling in the Rangers training camp, Barron has turned on the jets in Hartford since the season began. For a while, Barron was placed on the wing and was able to perform well on a nightly basis. The organization swapped him to the center spot and it’s continuing to pay dividends. Barron is reliable on offense in Hartford. We have seen nifty moves, while also being able to snipe the puck. Barron has been building up confidence and I expect him to be knocking on the door next season in New York for a spot. He has shown on the AHL level that he can play and take the next step. This is impressive considering Barron is playing in a shortened season.

Currently, the forward has 17 points in 18 games. He is nearly a point per game player. In the 18 games, Barron was held without a point in four games. Regardless how you break down his season, Barron is spectacular to watch.

Tarmo Reunanen Progresses on Blue Line

The 23 year old defenseman continues to make strides in his first year in Hartford and North America. Reunanen is knocking on the Rangers door as well next season. Offensively, the defenseman can produce and help generate offense from the back. Defensively, he is able to read plays well, and read situations well in advance to pivot possible opportunities against the club. Reunanen proves to be very disciplined as well. In his 18 games, the defenseman was in the box for just 4 minutes. He is smart with his decisions and able to produce solid results in both ends of the ice.

Reunanen is ready to take it to the next step as well. I expect the defenseman to give strong competition against other players for a spot in the upcoming season. On the AHL level, Reunanen has done everything that you could have asked for. The Rangers management must be very satisfied with the player.

Ty Ronning dominates

After being a healthy scratch early on in the season, the 23 year old forward has brought his “A” game to the Wolf Pack’s lineup. Coming into this season, Ronning had a lot to prove as his entry level deal will be up this summer. Despite being in the ECHL in majority of his time in season’s past, Ronning has shown a fight this season in hopes to earn another deal with New York.

Ronning has proven to be dependable offensively, generating scoring chances, capitalizing, and being able to assist in plays. He is part of the reason why Hartford had a seven game winning streak.

He has shown that he is able to play and perform well in the AHL level. In the past, that was not shown. Ronning prepared himself for this season which paid dividends. The question is will he return next season? Now he is knocking on the door of Chris Drury for an extension.

Currently, Ronning has points in his last 9 of 12 games. The forward had five multiple point nights including a three point performance. Ronning had a point streak of seven games. In that span, he recorded 5 goals, 7 assists for 12 points.

If I had the decide on Ronning, I would have him return for another season to see how much further he can progress with Hartford. He could be a solid piece on the roster next season if he is able to be consistent, which I expect he will.

For the remainder of the games, I expect Ronning to be be a strong force for Hartford’s offense. He has the confidence, and shown he is able to be reliable. I do not expect him to become quiet again. Keep up the good work kid.

One Timers

  • Prior to Hartford’s last game, the club outscored opponents 36-15 in 7 games.
  • Darren Raddysh has points in the last 10 of 14 games. The defenseman had a 7 game point streak end on Saturday. In that span, Raddysh registered 2 goals, 9 assists for 11 points. That includes 2 games with 2 points and one game with a 3 point night. Raddysh ranks 9th in points among defenseman.
  • Tarmo Reunanen is ranked 7th among AHL defenseman in points. Despite being in a tie with three other players including Raddysh, it is based upon the number of games played. The defenseman had a six game point streak end on April 15th. In that span, the prospect recorded one goal and eight assists for 9 points. Through 18 games, Reunanen has 3 goals, 11 assists for 14 points.

Injury Updates

  • Forward Gabriel Fontaine will be out for the remainder of the season. He has suffered an upper body injury. The forward had surgery on his shoulder, which resulted him out for majority of last season. He cannot catch a break. His deal will be up as well.
  • Jonny Brodzinski returned to the lineup after being out of the lineup with an injury.

Around the AHL: New Jersey Devil’s AHL on the Move…AGAIN

Over the weekend, there were rumblings in Binghamton over a dispute between the New Jersey Devils and the ownership of the Binghamton Devils. Then over the weekend, Binghamton’s management was informed that New Jersey will be relocating their team for the upcoming season.

This abrupt change stunned Binghamton’s ownership & their fan base. However, New Jersey has a troubled history with their AHL affiliations.

The Devils relocate almost often. What’s ironic is they may be returning to Utica after having an affiliation there decades ago. New Jersey had runs in Albany and Lowell before Binghamton.

In each case of relocation, the Devils often cited financial reasons or other variables. After a while, the Devils have become red flag for AHL cities. Buyers beware, Utica.

Utica Comet’s president recently purchased a trademark called the Utica Devils. The Comets, currently affiliated with Vancouver, may change next season as the Canucks could opt out this summer.

Where Vancouver’s affiliate will play is unknown. They could return to Abbotsford since the Canadian city hosted an AHL team a while back as the Flames affiliate. Abbotsford is close to Vancouver and could be a solid option. Time will tell.

More will be coming in these developments…

Upcoming Games

Thursday, April 22nd vs Providence at 1pm, New England Sports Center

Saturday, April 24th vs Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 1pm, XL Center

Tuesday, April 27th vs Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 1pm, Webster Bank Arena

Saturday, May 1st vs Providence Bruins at 1pm, XL Center